Ursula Burns started her career at Xerox as an intern in 1980, according to New York Mag. In 2009, she was named as CEO of the company and has held the position since. However, it was recently announced that the company will be separating into two publicly traded corporations in an attempt to restructure and Burns will be stepping down.

Burns is one of 15 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies ever, one of 19 current women CEOs and the only current black woman filling the role. With her stepping down, which is understandable given the toll running an entire corporation can take on a person, a light’s been shined on the clear lack of diversity among the business elite.

While Burns will still be with the company as a chairperson, her departure resulting in a complete absence of black women CEOs and single-digit percentage of women CEOs shows that there’s much, much work that still needs to be done. Perhaps we can start by simply offering women equal opportunities in the workplace so that they have a legitimate shot at getting the call up to CEO when there’s an opening.

Watch a video of Burns’ speaking on work-life balance below.


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